Translation: a ‘trifle’ difficult?

Mario Tarantino has recently joined the Business Development team at Capita TI, and talks to us about turning the mundane into something rather exciting…

I have been involved with translation in one form or another for the past 8 years. I studied it at University, then I became a freelance translator, and finally I joined a translation company, almost 3 years ago and have remained in the industry ever since. Working in this industry, it is sometimes easy to take translation for granted, and for anyone other than those who actually do it, translation can quickly become somewhat of an abstract concept.

A while ago I received an out-of-office-hours translation request from no other than my mother. I was tasked with procuring a traditional British trifle recipe and translating it into Italian. I found it a really enjoyable experience. Not the translation of the trifle recipe itself (which was rather dull, I must say) but the thought that what we often consider a large scale, corporate process eventually boils down to an individual reading some words and re-writing them in another language.

Thinking about it, it’s quite a simple epiphany, but I genuinely enjoyed reminding myself of what happens behind the scenes with translation.

After all the meetings, contracts, budget approvals, reports, and agreements, it’s nice to be reminded of the simple, basic idea of people being able to communicate with each other. It’s the same idea that underpins all of our work here at Capita TI, from large commercial companies to members of the public, we help our customers communicate in other languages.

I have always thought of translation as a form of art, and a very noble one. It involves not just knowledge of another language, but craftsmanship, dedication, and passion. And in case you didn’t know, it’s really hard work (perhaps not when it comes to a trifle recipe, but you get my point).

I also believe that often it’s not treated with the respect it deserves. So, anyone who is remotely involved with translation should give it a try once in a while.

One small piece of advice to leave you with: always have translations proofread by experts. Take it from someone who’s been yelled at for mistranslating the number of eggs in a sponge cake…

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